With the explosive growth of mobile devices and devices without keyboards being able to ‘voice search’ simply makes sense. A growing general acceptance that we will be using voice to interface with devices is driving rapid development in this area. But what does voice activated search mean for Search Engine Optimization? And how will it impact the desktop, your website, your business? We decided to take a closer look at this emerging technology.
The evolution of voice command
Ever since Apple’s personal assistant feature ‘Siri’ burst onto the scene in 2010 the concept has spurred the development of voice activated search functionality across the industry. The most recent offering from Google is a new feature on their Chrome browser called ‘OK Google’ giving the desktop user the ability to voice search. Among the benefits listed are its convenience for use away from your desk or when your hands are full. Voice search also claims usefulness for longer queries or when you’re not sure of a spelling. Regardless of the benefits you can be sure that as Google goes, so goes the rest of the internet.
The impact of voice search
It’s looking like the change from typed words or word strings to the spoken word will have a pretty significant impact on search engines. Ranking well for a typed search involves predicting what keywords people might use combined with the statistics on search term popularity and competition. Voice search doesn’t rely on classic keywords in the same way. Instead of keyword centric our thinking must be turned to focus on the type of questions that might be asked and how our websites can best respond to those questions. And this new conversational style will most likely reduce the need for users to click through to a web page for information. The complexity stakes are going to get a whole lot higher very soon.
Ideas for the new world of search
Don’t despair. These changes offer up their share of opportunities for business too. One simple strategy is to offer in depth information that can’t be delivered in a search engine response. It will require a bit of recrafting of your content and strategy. Answering questions in content will become imperative. Global businesses will benefit from the multi-lingual functionality as well. Supporting more languages and working to refine accent recognition are just a few of the developments in the works. So it won’t matter as much if a user can’t spell a word but if they can say it will produce the desired results.
Google posted this video about OK Google that will introduce you to the technology. If you don’t know much about voice activated search it’s worth your time to watch this short clip for an overview. But don’t stop there. Take steps now to get ready for this inevitable evolution. Call us. We can help.